Posted by: Kathryn Hulick | January 13, 2009

Where the Peaks Meet Sky

Somewhere in New England. July 19, 2003.


Part 1: Glass For Seeing

Y’nessa’s home is small, just one room dug into the base of a massive boulder surrounded by clover, dill, and other herbs and medicines.

Trill opens the door for me then steps aside as I enter and the heavy oak door swings shut.

The only light in the room comes from pockets in the seamless stone wall where lightstones glow softly from their dishes of sugar water. The lightstones aren’t magic; they’re alive. And they glow when they’re warm and fed and happy.

“Rune?” Y’nessa calls, and I realize we’re alone. I thought there would be a few Stewards here, at least, or maybe a Helper.

“Yes, Mother of Stones?” I respond formally, touching my hands to my head.

Y’nessa beckons me closer. She is seated on a large, gray cushion beside her bookshelf. Despite her great age–some say she’s seen over a hundred summers–her hair remains pitch black and thick. Her face, however, is laced with wrinkles and her hands shake as she turns the pages of a large book.

“My eyes aren’t what they used to be,” Y’nessa’s voice crackles. “Come closer, stone-bearer. I don’t bite. Ah, now I can see you clearly. Sit down.”

I sit crosslegged on the stone floor, waiting for instructions, or perhaps a rebuke. She knows I was playing with my stones! I worry. Y’nessa has a way of knowing thing, and I bet she doesn’t have to worry about annoying little brothers messing up her Sight.

“You’re not here for a scolding, Rune. Any one of the eleven Stewards or fifty-five Guardians can take care of that.”

“You won’t take away my stones?” I didn’t mean to speak out loud–it’s not permitted to speak until spoken to in the presence of the Mother of Stones. But everyone said that as Y’nessa got older, she seemed to care less and less about such formalities.

“No, the stones are yours, Rune. And I hope you will have more luck with them int he near future, for a time of trial draws near.”

“Trial?” Where was this going? If war was coming, she’d be talking to the Guardians. If it was crime or protest or something political, the Stewards would take care of it.

“Yes, Rune, a trial of our hearts. I am old, and soon I must go to the place where the mountain peaks meet sky. A way must be prepared.”

“And what help can I be?” I meant the question to be an offering of goodwill, but of course some sarcasm snuck in at the last second. Why wasn’t she talking to Trill? Or one of the hundred other young stone-bearers who never forgot the words to their enchantments?

“You are one of the seven, Rune, who must travel to the peaks with me. I have seen it.”

“Me?” my voice squeaked like my brother’s when he gets in trouble.

“Yes, you.” Y’nessa smiled, and I smiled too, but inside I was squirming to escape.

Part 3: Circle of Seven



  1. […] Part 2: Where the Peaks Meet Sky […]

  2. I like where this story is going. Must be the stones. 😉

  3. […] Part 2: Where the Peaks Meet Sky […]

  4. […] Part 2: Where the Peaks Meet Sky […]

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